Geek Break

A much-needed bit of geekery to get the sour taste of politics out of my mouth:

Christies is having an auction commemorating 40 years of Star Trek: actual costumes, visual effects models, props, etc., spanning every series and movie.

There are 1000 lots. Check out what you could get, if you had more money than sense.

Bizarro World

So, I just found out, via the Lawrence Journal World, that my representative, Democrat Dennis Moore, was one of 34 House Democrats that voted FOR the torture bill.

And get this: one of his Republican counterparts, Jerry Moran, was one of 7 GOP Congressmen to vote against the measure.

Fucking bizarro world.

I just sent the following to Moore’s office:

Mr. Moore:

I am digusted that you were one of the 34 House Democrats to back the bill that suspends habeus corpus, allows the President the sole discretion to interpret the Geneva Convention, and legalizes torture.

You have had my unconditional support, as one of the few Democrats representing Kansas. No longer. What a world we live in when your Republican colleague, Rep. Jerry Moran, votes against this gutting of American values, and you vote for it.

You cannot for a moment believe that your constituents supported this legislation. It goes against everything that this Republic has stood for — I can only hope that your craven desire to avoid being painted as “soft on terror” can assuage your conscience.

I am ashamed to call you my Representative.

I’m sure that you won’t even see this — some intern will mark it as read, and I’ll receive some half-assed form letter in response, explaining your vote as providing “a framework through which our military can bring enemy combatants to justice” — Please don’t bother to send it. I’m not so gullible as to believe the talking points — and I would have hoped that you had more courage than to vote in favor of this travesty.

For all the good it will do.

Take Them ALL Down.

Today, the Congress has forever destroyed the reputation of the United States of America as a defender of freedoms and human rights. The Detainee bill has passed, and legalized torture, at the whim and dictates of the President, is now the law of the land.

There was no filibuster, as the Democrats had no spines. They refused to stand up for the values of this country, for fear of being painted in the forthcoming election as “weak on Terror” — which will happen anyway (and has already begun), for their votes against the bill. The majority of Democratic legislators voted against torture….and history will remember that. But they half-assed it, and didn’t fight as hard as they were able….for fear of losing their jobs. History will remember that, as well.

Both sides are responsible — the Democrats for not fighting, and the Republicans for rubber-stamping the wishes of a dictatorial Presidency and forever decimating the Constitution and the rule of law.

The truth is that there is a rogue presidency and there has been since Bush came to power.

It is increasingly obvious, but no one dares to admit it publicly. The very thought that the US government is seriously broken – that the Executive branch is out of control and answerable to no-one, is such a potentially world-shattering revelation that it can never be publicly acknowledged. If ever it is, if the Congress and the Supreme Court openly assert that the Executive branch has run amok, the consequences are beyond imagining. The crisis that everyone feared in the early 70s — what if Nixon refuses to step down? What will that do to the country? — will play out in full view of the world’s 24-7 media.

The bill legalizing torture was nothing more than Congress continuing the pretense that they still have some influence over an Executive that from day one has been governing, not as if they had a mandate, but as if Bush were a dictator. If, for some miracle, the Detainee bill didn’t pass, every member of Congress knows that the Administration would keep on torturing. If Congress were to pass a law which unequivocably banned torture outright and send it to him, he’d riddle it with “signing statements” and use it for toilet paper. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Bush in the harshest and bluntest language, he’d have his cronies bitch about “activist judges” and continue on his merry way.

When Bush ascended to the White House, protesters carried signs that read “The Emperor Has No Votes.” Of course, the hundreds of thousands of people who protested were barely shown by the media.

Now, the “emperor” needs no votes — and the signs, if any should ever be brave enough to carry them, should read: “The People Have No Representatives.”

If this doesn’t motivate you to action, then nothing ever will.